Saturday, November 26, 2011

"Reasonable Solutions"

It looks like Occupy Philly will be ended on Sunday, the "Reasonable Solutions" moderates bought out with a possible-but-not-certain free office in the city bureaucracy someplace. A neat trick. At any point, the city can close the useless office, citing budgetary reasons.

My experience with activism is that "reasonable solutions" for the activist side always boils down to one thing: We lose and they win.


Anonymous said...

The City is not paying for the office space. It was donated from another group. My experience with activism is that unreasonable solutions create a lot of complaining and no results.

King Wenclas said...

I guess it depends what your goal is, Anonymous. To get an office? To become token opposition to the status quo?
You'll have to forgive me. I was raised in an autoworker household in Detroit-- raised in, not the mythology but the REALITY of the founding of the UAW. It wasn't easy. Take a look at photos of Walter Reuther getting his head busted some time.
All of human history, in fact, is an argument against your viewpoint. Those who achieved change against injustice and power have never been reasonable.
Have you read Thomas Paine-- especially his "summer soldiers and sunshine patriots" essay?
Or, look at 1789, or 1848, or 1871-- occurrences which make those in our day look tepid and minor.
Look at John Brown, fanatic he, or the Freedom Riders.
One could go all the way back to the most successful peoples movement in history, founded by a collection of pacifists who turned the other cheek, but also joyously walked into the arenas of Empire to be turned into martyrs. Nothing reasonable at all about those people!
(Read the middle portions of Elaine Pagels The Gnostic Gospels, where she explains why those who weren't fanatical, who turned away from the fight, who went along to survive, dwindled in number and disappeared from history.)
Etc etc etc.
My reading of history tells me that those who take the middle path seldom go anyplace.
Who are your examples?
Kerensky? Gorbachev?
But thanks for the remark.
(Note: I'm writing a novel about revolution, and will put many of my thoughts there. Expect it available by ebook early next year.
ALSO, I should also say a few things about the experience of the Underground Literary Alliance.
I'll just say here that if you don't present a united front, you're doomed.
A movement needs:
A.) Cohesion.
B.) Commitment.
C.) Leadership.
Some ex-ULAers still disagree with that last part. But, there has to be discipline, ways of decision-making, fair arbitation of disputes, and accountability.
The ULA had transparency-- honesty and accountability. No phony identities. Without honesty you can never be trustworthy.